Saturday, August 16, 2003

Around the World in 188 Pages (With a Side Trip to Hippo, Algeria)

I reached the conclusion of Phileas Fogg's adventures today. Some day I've really got to start doing some traveling of my own. It's sort of tricky, being a stay-at-home introvert, but the part of me that wants to go see new places will eventually get loud enough and strong enough to get me somewhere. I thought it was interesting watching Fogg and Passepartout going around the world together with such entirely different personalities. One was completely in control and unfazed by any difficulty but also remaining aloof and separate from everything. The other actually interacted with people and places more, and seemed to do a much better job of making the most of his travels. Of course, he was also the one to get lost, abducted by Indians, etc. I think I would aim for a careful combination of the two.

The copy of Around the World in 80 Days that I had checked out was actually a Jules Verne omnibus, so I think I'll go for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea next. That's another one I've wanted to read for a while.

I also recently finished Confessions of St. Augustine (of Hippo). The autobiographical part was wonderful. It actually reminded me a lot of The Most Reluctant Convert (about C. S. Lewis) but it was much more powerful and emotional, being written in the first person and addressed directly to God. The last 90 or so pages, however, got into a very detailed analysis of the first chapter of Genesis, and that was a bit much for me. Too many flashbacks to the dense reading I had to do for my philosophy classes in college. (Yeah, I know, I only took two. Still that was more than enough for me.)

Hmm. I graduated over a year ago and it still feels strange to say something about "my classes in college" and have it be in the past. I guess I'll get used to it eventually.

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